Girls: 6.09 Goodbye Tour
It started life as a proverb, then in mid-to-late 2006 it became a song for Nelly Furtado - the crux of it is that all good things must come to an end. It’s true of that bowl of delicious ice-cream you didn’t want to finish, life, love, Girls. Oh, and friendships - we’ve all wondered why Shoshanna hasn’t been around much and this week’s penultimate episode makes it abundantly clear.
The opening melody at the beginning of Goodbye Tour is reminiscent of Beach House (S3:E07). The sun is shining and there’s optimism in the air which cuts through the underlying melancholy. Hannah is on-campus, where, we’re not sure but she has a spring in her step and a glow. Cringingly, she inserts herself into a private conversation but for good intentions. “Is she someone’s mom?” a student asks. Ah, she soon will be. As scary a prospect as that might be.
It turns out, she’s interviewing in upstate New York for a very exciting, if very vague (and yes, it has been well-established via the internet, very fictional) teaching position. Hannah will be teaching writing for the internet or thereabouts and communicating all the “hope” “wonder” and “possibilities” it (the internet) can bring. Phaedra (Ann Down) is like a sorority mother if that mother spent most of her youth at Woodstock and is reliving it, she wants Hannah - and her patchy resume - in the position, which involves seminars and “cosy time”. The word Professorship is uttered, which is unlikely given the whole lack of PhD and all but lest we forget Hannah walked into a job at a middle school with great ease. C’mon suspend your disbelief a smidgen. She’s close to making serious life decisions and rather than running with her gut, she’s sleeping on it i.e. “can’t somebody just tell me exactly what to do in a way that makes it seem like it’s my idea?”
As night falls, with Marnie still avoiding her calls, Hannah’s aimless wandering leads her to Shoshanna’s apartment and the party within in full swing. Shosh wants to know why she’s there as she wasn’t invited. Unbeknownst to everyone (well, us and Hannah) Shosh is engaged to a bloke called Byron (Justin Leong), apparently they met at a sprinkles vending machine for cupcakes (vomit). As Hannah failed to tell her about the baby, Shosh chose to leave Horvath off the guest list, and didn’t feel the need to share her good news beyond Marnie, Jessa and Elijah (and a bunch of strangers). Ray’s absence is notable but there’s every chance Shosh didn’t want her ex-boyfriend there. I like to think that he refused out of loyalty for Hannah but an engagement party with a group of millennials is hardly his thing now as he’s earning his inheritance and spending time with an actual adult in Abigail.
After detecting an atmosphere, Marnie calls a group meeting in the tiniest of NYC bathrooms, determined that the four of them can and should be able to work through their issues and not just “randomise grenades of hostility at each other.” Shosh is having none of it but then she did say as much three seasons ago, after the dance routine, before Japan and before Marnie’s wedding which made it seem like their friendship, as a quartet, was salvageable. She has her fiancé and “really pretty girls with jobs, purses, and nice personalities. They’re my friends now […] We cannot be in the same room without one of us making it completely about them […] it’s exhausting, narcissistic and ultimately boring.”
Oooft. Don’t hold back or anything Shosh, will you? There’s not much anybody can say, kudos to the one brave enough to go there in the first place and who knew it would be the crack-smoking (accidental), late-bloomer who talks, like, really really fast. And just like that, they’re done. Refreshingly unsentimental. It does, however, lead to a really beautiful moment between Hannah and Jessa (I was a weeping mess). They make headway and are the most honest they’ve been with each other in a long time. There is no aggression, only forgiveness and it’s on par with Hannah and Adam’s adieu.
The closing montage is intercut with Hannah driving to her next adventure, moving inside her new home, arranging her single motherhood books on the mantle. The camera pans outside and Shosh (and Bryon), Marnie and Jesse all dance together. While, just like in All Adventurous Women Do (S1:E03) , Hannah dances on her own albeit, this time, with her son in utero. Brava to Nisha Ganatra who directed this joy of an episode in which Hannah isn’t immobile for very long at all throughout, and those times she is stationary, often she’s still moving; a beautiful metaphor for time, life, ageing - the whole shebang.
Who the hell knows if any of them will thrive? This episode plays out very much like a finale in its own right especially with Dunham confirming, via Instagram, that it is Jessa and Shosh’s final show. I think I’m okay with only half of the girls being in the finale. After six seasons, there have been many, many ups and downs, falling outs, screaming matches but the two who always seem to keep something together, nurture their bond (for the most part) are Hannah and Marnie. They attended college together, cohabited and have a history that can’t be severed. It seems apt that they should be present at the very end. Whether they’re together remains to be seen. At least (spoiler alert) Elijah got the part in White Men Can’t Jump: The Musical!
I have mostly loved and, a few times, loathed these women in all of their horrific glory - I may have mentioned it once or twice - and feel genuinely saddened that the end is so imminent. It has always been refreshing to see flaws onscreen which distracted from one’s own, even for just thirty minutes a week. No, it has never been perfect, it never claimed to be but I don't think it's presumptuous of me to say that it has struck a beloved chord with a lot of women and men alike.
Looking forward to what happens next.
Running from Home by Bert Jansch ℗ 2015 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd
23 (feat. Miley Cyrus, Wiz Khalifa & Juicy J) by Mike WiLL Made-it ℗2014 Interscope Records
Cool for the Summer (Andrew Rannells sings Demi Lovato)
Here Now by Sean Bones ℗2012 S/S Friends
Forever by REFS ℗2017 Refs
All My Friends (feat. Tinashe & Chance The Rapper) ℗2015 Sony Music Entertainment UK Limited
Glorious by Tkay Maidza ℗2017 Kitsuné Musique
Crowded Places by Banks ℗2017 Harvest Records